Creative Writing Prompts

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Need an idea to help you get started writing? You’ll find hundreds of fun writing prompts here – perfect for beginning a new novel or short story, or simply giving your writing muscle a workout.

Back From the Future

A knock at the door catches you off-guard. Upon answering it, you’re greeted by a man who says he’s from the future—and he can prove it. More important, he says he has information that will save your life. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

You’re the Marriage Ref

You and two friends are out to dinner when a woman walks up to you and says, “My husband and I have a disagreement and we’d like you to decide who is right.” She explains the issue. Both of your friends chime in, giving completely opposite opinions. The decision, though, rests in your hands....

Cube Packed Up

You arrive at work to find all the items in your cube packed up in a box. There’s no note and you have no idea what is going on. Write this scene. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Elevator Baby

You’re riding an elevator when the power goes out. The situation take a turn when the pregnant woman next to you goes into labor. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Late-for-Work Excuse

You’re late for work because you overslept, but your boss hates over-sleepers. He does love entertaining stories, so create the most outlandish excuse as to why you were late. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Not Your Average Pet

A friend knocks on your door. Her father has had a heart attack and she must leave town immediately to visit—only problem is she needs someone to watch over her very unusual pet. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Not Really Dead

One week after attending the funeral of a close friend, you receive a postcard in the mail with the words, “I’m not dead. Meet me tonight at Guido’s Pizzeria. Tell no one.” Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Sent to the Wrong Printer

You’re at work and you print something personal (and sensitive). Unfortunately, you’ve sent it to the wrong printer and, by the time you realize it, someone else has already scooped it up. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Playing in the Snow

Write about your favorite childhood memory of playing in the snow. If you’ve never been around snow, write about what you dream it’d be like. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Grammy Acceptance Speech

Your name is called: You’ve won the “Album of the Year” Grammy for your album, (fill in the blank). You step up to the podium to accept your award and, halfway through, the orchestra tries to play you off. You’ve worked too long and hard to allow this to happen, so you don’t–to the...

Breaking Up With Writer’s Block

It’s time for you and Writer’s Block to part ways. Write a letter breaking up with Writer’s Block, starting out with, “Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me … .” Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

One Amazing Night

You’re standing outside a restaurant next to a phone booth when, suddenly, it rings. Your gut tells you not to answer it, but with each ring you can’t resist. Finally you pick up the phone—and end up having the most amazing night of your life. Post your response (500 words or less) in the...

Get Me Off This Island

Your plane crashes on a deserted island. You and two other passengers survive. The only salvageable items from the plane are pair of scissors, a stopwatch and an electric keyboard. Use these items creatively to get off the island. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Your Last Line

Write the last line to an unwritten novel that’s so intriguing that others won’t help but want to read the book. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Your 2010 Resolutions

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2010? Post them here and then at the end of the year, I’ll feature this in the newsletter and ask you to check in to see which ones you’ve accomplished and reflect on your writing year. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Elf Pink Slip

The countdown clock for Christmas is ticking. Santa’s elves begin working their magic on the assembly lines, but the line comes to a screeching halt when rumors leak that one elf is going to get let go that day. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Thanksgiving Burgers

Write about the only time you hosted Thanksgiving. Start with the line, “For my first Thanksgiving as host, I bought the biggest turkey they had in the store,” and end your story with “And that’s why we all ate hamburgers.” Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Unusual Super Power

You wake up one day with an unusual super power that seems pretty worthless—until you are caught in a situation that requires that specific “talent.” Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Kidnapped

You wake up shackled to a chair and can’t remember how you got there. Two voices are talking. You recognize one of them. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Halloween Party Mishap

You arrive at an annual Halloween party only to discover that someone else is dressed in the same costume as you. Bad things start happening to you throughout the night and you suspect this person has something to do with it. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Your Future Writing Bio

Write a one-paragraph bio about your writing career to date. Then, write the one-paragraph bio you expect to have in 2020 (including all your major writing accomplishments). Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.

Costume Contest

You’re 12 years old and have entered a school Halloween costume contest. There’s stiff competition, though you’re confident you’ll win—until you find out someone has bribed the judge. Write this scene. Post your response (500 words or less) in the comments below.